When I was in elementary school (and even through my early years in high school) getting home right after school meant being able to watch new and re-run episodes of Arthur on PBS. The show that was created after the book series created by Marc Brown, has always been an upbeat show featuring characters of the animal kingdom variety that were personified as school kids in Arthur’s class. Arthur, who is an eyeglass-wearing aardvark, has always been the focus of the show and the supporting characters have helped in teaching lessons to viewers big and small. And try getting that theme song out of your head! Impossible!
As I grew out of after-school specials and grew more into after school extra-curricular activities I stopped watching Arthur, but still remember some of the greatest episodes I enjoyed as a kid. Flash forward to 2019, turns out the show is still on the air and in its 22nd season and the third graders at Lakewood Elementary are still getting into trouble. But as time has passed and so many major world events have transpired in the last 20 years, it seems that Arthur and his friends are dealing with more progressive and diverse topics—it’s most recent being same-sex relationships (and weddings!)
On Monday’s episode of Arthur, titled Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone, TV Line reports that Arthur and his friends learn that their stern, yet forgiving teacher, Mr. Ratburn is engaged. They are all shocked to learn this since we forget that teachers have a life outside of the classroom.
The group of friends run into Mr. Ratburn having lunch a stiff woman which confusing the students into thinking that this is his wife-to-be. The character if voiced by comedian Jane Lynch. The gang of students decides that they want to intervene on Ratburn’s marriage to the frigid character so they show up to his wedding ready to object! But when they realize that Mr. Ratburn is actually walking down the aisle with another man, they are relieved and decide not to sabotage the wedding and celebrate their happiness.
Is this topic too sensitive for children to be watching? Especially on PBS? People will argue against it for the sake of not corrupting our young minds. But no mention of the word “gay” or “homosexual” is made, and the happiness shown in the characters that we have all loved for 22 years should be the real lesson to take away from the season premiere. Now that’s what I call a wonderful kind of day!
I may just start watching this show again—you know, for nostalgia’s sake!
Watch the FULL EPISODE HERE
Source: TV Line